This I Believe

Rachel - Lenexa, Kansas
Entered on April 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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We are young, so, what’s wrong with that? We have everyday problems and struggles, too. It is not just adults and important people like the president that matter. We fight battles every single day! Teens daily fight the battles of drugs, the media, and the school system.

Drinking and drugs has hit the schools. It is how some people cope with things. Some teens like it for partying, and others for not feeling pain. In high school the biggest fear is not being accepted. Drinking can quickly turn in to “the thing to do” on a weekend when you’re going to a party. It can suck you in. You think everyone else is doing it, so it must be an OK thing to do. Here is where teens can have a hard decision. Teens get the idea that if they don’t drink, then their friends won’t like them or think they are cool. They think that rejection or pain will not hurt if they are high enough to not feel it anymore. Adults and parents don’t always know this, but their approval on what we do can mean the world. We want to be accepted and meet their high standards. So, when a person like a parent disapproves or doesn’t think that the kid is trying, it hurts.

The media is great at influencing how teenagers feel about themselves. We want to be the pretty, skinny, and gorgeous people like in the magazines. Some people will do whatever it takes, even if that means eating less every day. There is a lot of pressure that comes with the media. Basically, it is the strive to be perfect and to be noticed. The media does whatever it can to get themselves noticed by the world. Just like them, we try to be noticed by the coolest and most popular people.

The school system is the worst! They put their students out there because they want to be the best. They push the kids to be the very best in academics, sports, and all other activities. They don’t realize all of the stress they put on the students. Some teenagers stay up until the early hours in the morning, because they do not have time to do their homework. It can be ridiculous what is expected out of us sometimes. We already have pressure on us by our peers to do activities and hang out, so we don’t need added pressure from the school system to be the very best all of the time.

I know that I have struggles with some of these factors, just like every other teenager. It needs to be changed that high school is not about being who everyone else wants you to be. It is about being yourself and finding people who like every bit of it! I believe that teenagers are going to achieve great things. All we need is to have faith in them.